I don't know about you guys, but winter is going way too fast for me. I have a lot of projects that I was planning on getting done before Spring arrives (such as transfer all those home movies to DVD and get the kids' scrapbooks updated from when they were 5), they still aren't done and I have a busy couple of weeks coming up. Unless we have a really snowy April, by the time my upcoming plans have taken place, we will probably be wearing shorts and hanging out in the yard because it will be nice enough to do that. Then new projects will have a way of politely announcing priority, such as gardening and yard work, planting flowers and making rhubarb crisp. If they don't get the proper attention at the right time, we all know who moves in: the Weed family and it is extremely hard to evict them once they've established residency.
I realized after a closer look at the calendar that I will miss seeing Charlie Parr when I am in California. He's actually going to be there the night before I arrive and then the next gig he has is in Los Angeles. My workshop will have started by then and even if I was open, I am WAY too chicken to drive a car in Los Angeles. I've never been there but I have heard stories and I am pretty sure I should never operate a motor vehicle there unless something weird happens and I move there or something. I'm not even sure Minnesotans are allowed in L.A. Except if you're a celebrity like Charlie. So that is a bummer but maybe by some bizarre coincidence he will fill his open night with a show in the town I am staying in. That would be pretty awesome and amazing. I will be sure to tell you if it does happen.
I am back at the Minneapolis Photo Center these days scanning more film. I have to tell you, I am still a big believer in film. Even though I love the instant gratification of digital cameras, when I can force myself to use the film camera, I am always happy with the results.
Last Fall when I was up north, I set my alarm for way too early and hardly slept a wink because that's what happens when I know I have to shoot in the morning. I am so worried that I am going to sleep through my alarm or that the alarm won't go off that I toss and turn all night and am usually relieved when the clock finally says 4:30 or whatever time I need to get up. So anyway, here I am, my first morning and I get all my stuff and get to the parking lot and start walking out in the dark. I find a spot to plunk down the tripod and what do I see blasting right through the sunrise sky? A big, old uninvited contrail. This one was of the variety that sticks around forever and ever. So this guy announces that he's staying till at least lunch time and I'm wondering what to do now? So I decided to do a little experiment to blog about. I shot that big ole' contrail sunrise with all 3 cameras I was lugging with me. We'll talk about why the 3 cameras another time. So the question is...which is better: 35mm film camera, medium format film camera, or digital camera. Of course the scans don't look quite as good as the originals, they are a little darker so I'm not sure this is a fair comparison. Also, slightly different lenses on each camera. At any rate, leave your comments if you'd like and weigh in your opinion. I would love to know what you think.
Ok, here are the identities revealed:
#1 is medium format with Velvia film
#2 is digital
#3 is 35mm with Velvia film
I've been reading up on Charlie Parr's Facebook page because I just found it and I'm thinking a lot about Charlie this week cause I finally got to see him play and meet him in person. Reading all his Facebook posts made me wish I could write like him and I think one way to emulate his writing style is to simply write from the heart and talk about whatever is happening that day or the next day. It can be hard to do that sometimes cause it's tempting to use a lot of smoke and mirrors when you aren't sure who your audience is or if you even have an audience bigger than your Mom. So in a way I guess I could just say "Dear Mom, " but then you're not really sure if anyone besides your Mom might be reading it and then it shouldn't be too personal.
And I know this is supposed to be a blog about Photography or something like that but I'm not the kind of person to be teaching about photography. There is plenty of that on the internet and I am no expert. And I don't really see Charlie doing that either, he isn't talking about how he writes music or what chords to play he is talking a lot about his dog and his kid and his repair blues around the house and his wife and life in general. So I like that and it makes sense to me and it's easy reading and at the end I feel like I know him a little bit better. But of course a lot of people want to know Charlie Parr because he is one of the hottest guys on the music scene right now and I can't really say the same is true for myself.
So in Charlie Parr form I would like to talk about the snow slowly melting outside. It's Minnesota and we are obsessed with the weather here. Probably because it is such a big part of our lives and it affects everything we do on a daily basis.
There is no happier place on the planet than the first warm day in Minnesota at the end of winter. It's been a long winter and we had something like 50 days below zero. As the old people used to say when I was little "it puts hair on your chest." It's a rather quirky saying if you think about it.
The bird bath actually resembles a bird bath now and not a frozen pond.
The icicles that started hanging from the roof are gone and most of the snow has disappeared off the shingles and onto the ground but in the form of water running through the gutters. I managed to get a run outside and it sure felt good to breathe in all that fresh air (yeah, some car exhaust too) but a lot better than a cooped up old tiny running track that is so small I have to run 98 times around it to meet my goal. Talk about running in circles!
I'm getting prepared for my night photography course and working on how to light stuff up at night with flashlights and gels and I'll be flying to California for that class. I'm a little nervous cause I have to get on one of those little planes in Utah and I don't really like them so much when they are too small and so I asked the airline people what happens if I can't get on the plane? And she says well, you'll forfeit your ticket. I've never really visited Utah that's worth talking about but the pictures I've seen are real pretty and everything. I heard on the radio that they have the lowest per capital consumption of beer there (North Dakota is #1 by the way, and Minnesota comes in at a paltry 29) and I have a feeling I might not fit in very well. So she says well you can go to the doctor and get something for that but I'm not really the doctoring type so I'm thinking well if I start feeling anxious about it maybe I should just have a beer before I get on the plane. But now I'm not even sure they have beer in Utah so I'm thinking the odds just increased that my posts in April might be coming from my new home in Utah. Could you send some beer if that happens?Let's hope I can make it through and get to sunny Cali and back alright. It's kind of funny because when I'm going to be there, Charlie Parr will be playing just down the road from where I am staying. If I can figure out how to drive the rental car there I just might go see him play. It should be a decent temperature in California in April and since I won't know anybody and I'll be sitting in a hotel room by myself it might feel alright to go out and see Charlie Parr play. Won't he be surprised? Maybe I can have a beer while I'm there. It should be a lot easier than going out to see him play on a cold, dark wintery night in Minnesota.
It's hard to go out in the winter in Minnesota at night. It's dark and it's cold. Did I already say that? And I'm gettin' old. So I would prefer to stay inside and make my way back to bed somewhere around 9:00 and settle in with a book. It's warm and comfortable and if I get tired I can reach over, turn out the light and go to sleep. That is the opposite of going out somewhere for entertainment. It might be good when the entertainment is happening but when it's over you have to go out in the dark and the cold and get into a cold car and wait for it to warm up. Or just head out but then your eyes are on the engine temperature waiting for it to warm up cause if you turn on the "heat" when the engine is cold it will just blow cold air into the car and that doesn't feel very good when you are already freezing. So you wait for the car to warm up and then you start inching your way home. And then you might wake up the next morning and not feel so great because you stayed out WAY past an old person's bedtime and maybe you had a beer or two or three and now you slept too late but it was all worth it cause you have good memories and maybe had a few good laughs too. Maybe they were at someone else's expense like a guy with a red hat who kept smiling the whole night no matter what except when he came in later with a black hat on and then he wasn't smiling anymore. And you know the next night you'll be back to 9:00 in bed with a book. So once in awhile it is worth it to make an effort and go out and see some live music or whatever, and thanks Charlie cause it sure was a real good time.
And thanks to Mikkel Beckmen too, keeper of the beat.
This video was made by Lisa Bond Photography...you are more than welcome to link back to it!
This has been a busy week. First off, I am finally catching up tonight with the Charlie Parr show and I hope to be reporting back on that in the very near future. Charlie is one of the nicest musicians I've ever talked to and he is very talented as well. I would think that he is considered a leader in his genre of music. I first heard him on radio's 88.5 "Bluegrass Saturday Morning" Show, then a local radio station, 89.3 The Current. He travels all over the United States, but we are lucky that he calls Minnesota home.
You can check out his website here:
He also has a number of videos on Youtube (he has his own channel):
and on Internet Archive.org if you want to hear entire live recordings.
I am also preparing for an upcoming trip which focuses on lighting scenes at night. I've been doing a little practicing. It is a more complex level of photography. Maybe along the lines of architectural interiors or food styling, etc. where you spend a considerable amount of time preparing the scene before you photograph it. In this case, it would be during the actual image capture. The shutter is open for 2+ minutes to paint all this light in.
Thanks for visiting this blog and I hope you will come by again soon!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.